Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Camp Creek Falls/Maricopa Trail/Sears-Kay Ruins Day Hike
when Trip Report : January 2, 2022
where Tonto National Forest, outside Carefree
the hike     We will kick off the new hiking year with a day hike with several options.
    Camp Creek and Blue Wash are part of the Verde River watershed, which eventually drains into Bartlett Reservoir on the Verde River north of where it merges with the Salt River.
    From the trailhead we will get a nice panorama of Four Peaks and the Superstitions. Drop into Blue Wash. The trail heads south past snags, large granite rock formations, lining the wash and the remains of a car (the bumper looks like an old Cadillac). At the ½ mile mark there is a large rock hollow where we will take our group photos.
    At ¾ miles, we find another enormous rock with a “Hidden Mickey” (400 miles from Disneyland). After a mile, Blue Wash converges with Camp Creek. If you look up, you will see a flag marking the location of a mine. We head to our left up the Creek for about ½ mile to Camp Creek Falls. We will break here and spend time climbing around the rock playground above the falls.
    After spending time at the falls, the group will return to Blue Wash/Camp Creek intersection where we will split up.
    The Short Hike group will return to the trailhead and drive a mile down Cave Creek Road. and visit the Sears-Kay Ruins. The desert foothills in the area surrounding the town of Carefree, Arizona, were home to the Hohokam culture. The Hohokam may have been the ancestors of the modern Akimel O’odham and Tohono O’odham peoples in Southern Arizona. The Prehistoric Hohokam built the Sears-Kay Fort around 1050 AD and abandoned it around 1200 AD. In 1867, 5th Cavalry Regiment soldiers discovered the fort on the Sears-Kay Ranch (visible to the south).
    The Long Hike group will head north on the Maricopa Trail at the (where you can see the American flag on the hill), After a mile we come back down to another wash. After crossing the wash, we climb another hill for another ½ mile (this is in the burned-out section, which is an interesting area). We will see some nice boulders where we can take a break. We will head down that first hill and take the first wash back to the lower section of Camp Creek. We will return to the Blue Wash/Camp Creek intersection and return to the trailhead.
distance Short Hike Camp Creek Falls 3.2 Miles /Sears-Kay Ruins 1.0 miles
Long Hike Blue Wash to Camp Creek Falls to Maricopa Trail 6.0 miles
time 4-5 hours on trail
EC Short Hike Camp Creek Falls 456' /Sears-Kay Ruins 200'
Long Hike 950'
elevations Blue Wash Trailhead 3242'
type round trip
starting at Blue Wash Trailhead
on trail Short Hike Blue Wash 50%, Camp Creek 25%, Sears-Kay 25%
Long Hike Blue Wash 37%, Maricopa 30%, Camp Creek 33%
rating "C"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Carefree
meet Blue Wash Trailhead at 8:00 AM
•  From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Princess/Pima exit 36 and go 12 miles north on Pima to Cave Creek Road.
Follow Cave Creek Road west for 6.5 miles.
Blue Wash Trailhead will be on your right.
There is a parking area at 33°52'36.49"N, 111°49'2.38"W, which has room for a dozen or more cars. There are no facilities at the Trailhead.

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updated January 10, 2022 © Copyright 2022, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.